I know that +David Ruddock
has gotten some flack for this review being a little on the negative side, but really, HTC needs to step up their game. When Motorola released the Moto G, no one expected it to be a top-of-the line phone for $180. Complaints about the camera, screen, etc. were completely expected. When a company comes out with a flagship phone, though, they are competing with the best of the best. The M8 is competing with the Galaxy S5, the LG G2, and the Motorola Moto X. Each of those brought something new and unique to the market, or at least tried. Samsung always plays the specs game, adding more numbers and more features. LG generally does the same, trying to best Samsung in build quality and eek out just a little more than their #1 competitor. Motorola took a different tact and rolled in features that were so darned useful, and a phone that performed so flawlessly on moderate specs, that no one could help but take notice. What does HTC bring to the table? A camera that looks worse than the much maligned Moto X. Speakers that are top notch, for the few people that use their phone as a boom-box. A UI skin that is what it is, and doesn't offer all that much new. A screen that is in some ways even a step down from their last model. A company can't survive in today's industry with "good enough". If the M8 were unveiled as a cost effective alternative to the "M8+", a half inch larger, 8MP ultrapixel, extended battery, always listening, device, it may be different. But as it stands, the M8 is a $700 iterative improvement. For half that price, I would argue that the Moto X has more innovation and will age better. In a year, as more new features are revealed, the M8 will feel behind the times. On the other hand, I fully expect the Galaxy S5 and LG G2 to be flying along with the latest Cyanogenmod fully taking advantage of their superior hardware, and the Moto X to be singing with the latest Android and whatever innovations Motorola can squeeze in to Active Display, Gestures, Moto Assist, and so on. HTC needs a kick, and a review that isn't afraid to call the M8 what is may be exactly what they need to hear.